Study: Fewer Millennials, Gen Xers reported having past-due medical debt in 2015

Nearly one in four (23.8 percent) of nonelderly adults in the U.S. had past-due medical debt in 2015, according to study conducted by the Urban Institute.

Researches relied on data from the 2012 and 2015 editions of the "National Financial Capability Study," a nationwide internet-based survey of over 25,000 U.S. adults aged 18 or older. Samples of roughly 500 adults were drawn from each state and Washington, D.C.

Here are seven findings from the study.

1. Those with household incomes below $50,000 experienced the largest decline in past-due medical debt between 2012 and 2015.

2. For adults with household incomes below $25,000, the number of individuals with past-due medical debt fell 25.1 percent between 2012 and 2015. The share of those with household incomes between $25,000 and $35,000 with past-due medical debt fell 19 percent, and for those with household incomes between $35,000 and $49,999, the share with past-due medical bills fell 20.1 percent.

3. From 2012 to 2015, the share of adults with less than a high school education with past-due medical debt declined 22.4 percent, while the share of adults with a college education or more fell 17.7 percent.

4. The share of Generation X adults with past-due medical debt declined between 2012 and 2015. Among those aged 35 through 44, 18.7 percent fewer respondents said they had past-due medical debt in 2015 than in 2012. During the same time period, the share of Generation X adults aged 44 though 54 who reported having past-due medical debt fell 18.8 percent.

5. The share of millennials aged 18 to 24 with past-due medical debt decreased 22.7 percent between 2012 and 2015, while those aged 25 to 34 with past-due medical debt fell 21 percent.

6. Researchers found 24.5 percent of married individuals had past-due medical debt in 2015, down from 30.1 percent in 2012. In 2015, 23.1 percent of unmarried individuals had past-due medical debt, compared with 29.1 percent in 2012.

7. In 2015, 22.8 percent of insured respondents said they had past-due medical debt, compared with 30.5 percent of uninsured respondents.  

More articles on revenue cycle management:
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